By Judy Sheridan
Vandagriff Elementary third grade teacher Catharine Clay was named “Teacher of the Year” during the Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony honoring Aledo ISD employees May 6 in the Aledo High School auditorium.
Clay, chosen from a pool of 28 nominees, received a $10,000 cash award from the Reilly Family Foundation, the event’s major sponsor. An interview committee from Reilly judges all applicants for the award.
“My philosophy of education is to win my students over through their hearts, and then teach them like crazy,” Clay said in the event’s program. “This isn’t work, but time well spent in the building of relationships with students and their parents. I truly receive more than I give.”
Four other nominees, as well as school support personnel, received awards.
Before the ceremony, Superintendent Dan Manning, retiring this year, announced a $100,000 donation from the Walsh Family Foundation, with $50,000 to create a new Dan Manning Endowment Fund and $50,000 to add to the existing Don R. Daniel Endowment Fund.
“We acknowledge this gift with gratitude,” Manning told Malcolm Louden of Walsh Ranch, seated in the audience. “We believe teachers are the most important and influential people in the whole world.”
The awards followed an inspirational program where all the nominees profiled their roles as educators. The AHS Jazz Ensemble 1, directed by Jake Albin, kept the atmosphere bright and upbeat, while Aledo choirs, directed by Karen Paul, offered opportunities for reflection.
The $2,500 Faulk Company Award for “Secondary Teacher” went to Aledo High School Department Chair and AP statistics teacher Mary McLellan. It was presented by Dean Faulk.
McClellan reflected, with humor, that the lingo she picks up from her students helps her communicate with her sons about Twitter and frockets. “Where else do you get paid and have this kind of education,” she joked.
The $2,500 Hardick Family Award — “Intermediate Teacher” went to McAnally Intermediate sixth grade language arts/ESL teacher Dave Marcath.
“This nominee has a big heart,” Jim Hardick, the presenter, said of Marcath. “He cares a lot about his job.”
Susan Stirewalt, a Coder Elementary dyslexia teacher, received the $2,500 First Financial Bank Award — “Elementary Teacher” from presenter Mike Carter.
“I’m receiving this, but I’m representing all of the teachers and administrators who have encouraged me to move forward,” she said.
The $2,500 F. Howard & Mary D. Walsh Award — Beginning Teacher” went to Aledo High School technology applications teacher Lisa Abbett, who said teaching, her second career, is her passion.
“This is a profession that stays in your hearts,” she said. “I’ve never worked as hard as I have these past two years. It’s more demanding than the corporate world.”
Aledo Learning Center Principal Ron Miller won the $1,000 Don R. Daniel Principal of the Year Award, and Aledo Middle School Vice Principal Zachary Tarrant received the $1,000 Marsha Miholovich Professional Support Award, both funded by the Don R. Daniel Endowment.
The five support personnel awards were also $1,000 each.
Vince Matej received the VLK Architects Technology Award; Martha Ritter, the Buford-Thompson Company Transportation Award; Roddy McCurley, the Buford-Thompson Company Maintenance Award; Melissa Schneider, the Moritz/Hardick Child Nutrition Award; and Jenny Psota the Moritz/Hardick Paraprofessional Award.
By Judy Sheridan
- Aledo ExtrA
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
Willow Park tackles 11-street project
The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.
Teens arrested for throwing rocks on interstate
Two 14-year-old boys are facing charges after reportedly throwing rocks at passing vehicles on Interstate 20 Tuesday afternoon, damaging trucks and injuring a woman.
Parker County Calendar of Events
Painting with a Twist/Painting with a Purpose
• Looking for a fun night out? The Parker Paws Painting with a Purpose fundraiser will be held from 7-9 p.m.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Developer withdraws site plan